Most people treat the meeting after the meeting as little more than a gripe session. But HR consultant Sharlyn Lauby argues in her blog that the meeting after can be more important than the original session, providing insight into the people and discussions that you can’t get during the meeting itself. So try to wrangle an invite for the meeting after the meeting.
Usually it’s a more casual affair, at a coffee shop, lunch, or over drinks after work. But don’t mistake it as purely social, and shrug it off. It will involve venting, but the attendees are gathering to move beyond frustration about what occurred at the original meeting to figuring out how to fix things.
Those attending will usually be those players who have a big stake in the matter. Ms. Lauby suggests you pay attention to who initiates the session, and figure out whether they are ultimately accountable for the matter and soliciting feedback, or whether they are trying to influence the person who is accountable.
Don’t dismiss the gripes that arise. “Try to understand the frustrations and also why that frustration may or may not have been addressed during the meeting,” she advises.
People let their guard down in these conclaves, so don’t gossip about who-said-what. If you want to be at the post-meeting meeting – to know what’s happening, and be a sounding board – make sure you don’t act in an inappropriate manner.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Harvey Schachter is a Battersea, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online work-life column Balance. E-mail Harvey Schachter